Are Solar Power Banks Worth It? Full Guide
Portability and solar energy go hand-in-hand these days. As technology advances, we find ourselves among more compact and portable devices that are easier to use and carry around. Solar power banks are one of these devices. They store energy using sunlight which you can use later to charge your gadgets.
Solar power, in general, is becoming extensively popular these days. From portable power devices to holistic off-grid residential systems, the applications of solar energy are endless.
So, to answer your question, PROBABLY, since they are generally recommendedThere, still are a lot of factors to consider when considering if a solar power bank is a smart buy for you since solar power is not as cost-effective as we might expect.
The following article will help you make your decision about solar power banks.
How do solar power banks work?
A conventional power bank would require you to connect it via a power cable to an electrical source so it can charge and store power for later.
A solar power bank works the same way except it features photovoltaic cells that allow it to be charged by the sun. If you keep it out in the sun, it will charge the internal battery, allowing you to charge your gadgets as needed.
It is to be noted that a solar power bank and a solar charger are not the same things. While both utilize the sun to charge your electronics, a solar charger must be charged in direct sunlight. In contrast, a solar power bank stores the charge so that it may be utilized even when the sun isn't shining.
What can you do with a solar power bank?
Solar power banks are an excellent addition to any explorer's tool kit. They let you charge your devices without worrying about electric sockets and external chargers.
Therefore, even if you are on a long route completely off the grid, you don't have to fear your phone battery dying. All you have to do is to put your solar power bank in the sunlight and it will charge itself.
You can later connect your equipment to one of its numerous USB ports. As long as there is light, they will keep all of your equipment charged. You can use solar power banks to charge the following:
Other portable devices
Depending on charging capacity, it can charge your devices multiple times too. The bigger the capacity of your solar power bank is, the heavier it would get and might compromise a bit on portability.
Things to consider when buying a solar power bank
Here are a few things you should consider to make your solar power bank a worthwhile buy.
The cost of the solar power bank does not only depend on the battery capacity, or only on its design. When buying a solar power bank, you would need to consider the overall quality of the product.
The higher cost of a solar power bank implies greater battery capacity and more optimized solar panel output. Aside from battery capacity, the brand name and solar panel technology will also affect the price.
A solar power bank that costs between $20-40 USD will have a battery capacity ranging from 10000-20000mAh. If you need a battery with a capacity of more than 20000mAh, you will have to spend more.
In terms of tiny portable solar power banks, you should be able to get a high-quality one for USD 60 or less.
If you want a larger solar "generator" style bank or portable power station, you will most likely cost between $200 and USD 3000 which can power a few bigger appliances and can be a good power source when going camping.
Charging capacity refers to your charging needs. Solar panels of different charging capacities are available in the market, from a simple travel partner of about 10000mAh to a
“generator-type” backup power source for your home or camping trips.
Solar power banks with higher charging capacity would last longer once fully charged and would charge your devices more often whereas those with lesser charging capacity might give out too soon and you will need to put it in the sun more frequently.
If your solar power bank has a charging capacity of 10000mAh, it can probably charge your phone 2-3 times and other small appliances as well. Therefore, it might be a convenient option for you to buy.
Portability is directly related to the size and design of your solar power bank. The bigger the battery capacity, the bigger the size which ultimately makes it a little less portable.
So, if you want a power source that can fit in your bag without taking a lot of space you would want to check on the size of your solar power bank.
It is important to notice that solar power banks are sustainable, eco-friendly devices since they use renewable energy for charging, i.e. the sun. Since they do not require an electrical supply to store charge, they are energy efficient as well.
If you have a solar power bank with enough charging capacity you can reduce your electricity bill to some extent by charging all your devices with a solar power bank only.
Now, you might think solar power banks are the right thing for you in terms of convenience but if you are living in a region where the weather is mostly cloudy and the sun is scarce even in summers, you should probably not go for it as it would not be a very viable purchase for you.
They are good for regions where there is enough sun during the day but not so much for areas with less sunny weather conditions.
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Solar power banks are convenient and clean power sources. Although they have a few factors that you must check to decide if they are worth it, they are recommended.
Therefore, when going for such a purchase be sure that you only go for a modern solar power bank that would deliver the quality and service life you require.